Olympic Travesty: China, Tibet & Human Rights

by Robin Forman

Who gave China the Olympics?

No, seriously. What’s wrong with these people?

In addition to a wealth of human rights violations all their own, China is mixed up in human rights issues involving Darfur too.

How about the fact China is the one of world’s biggest polluters?

Oh, and remember those commies and reds that everyone once feared?

Well, guess which country is ruled by a whole bunch of commies and reds.

Now, China is giving the Dalai Lama ulcers. Don't they know this is the man who wrote The Art of Happiness?

For those who don't read the news on the weekend, you may have missed how Buddhist monks in Tibet led protests against the Chinese occupation of their country. And then the protests turned violent: the worst violence in Tibet in a generation. At least 13 people were killed, and the Chinese arrested at least 24 monks and other protestors.

Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao accused the Dalai Lama of orchestrating the riots by Tibetans to wreck the Beijing Olympics. Wen told a news conference in Beijiing: “There is ample fact and plenty of evidence proving this incident was organized, premeditated, masterminded and incited by the Dalai clique.”

Wen also said, "This has all the more revealed the consistent claims by the Dalai clique that they pursue not independence but peaceful dialogue are nothing but lies."

In actuality, the Dalai Lama has called for an end to the violence and has threatened to step down as leader of Tibet’s government in exile if violence continues. Mind you, the Dalai Lama and Tibet's government in exile must stay in India to escape Chinese oppression.

China's methods for dealing with the Tibetan protesters are deplorable. Some human rights groups charge Chinese troops with firing indiscriminately at unarmed protestors.

Remember when I wrote about protestors being shot like this before?

It was in Kenya. Only nobody gave Kenya the Olympics.

The U.S and other Western countries bit their tongues in responding to the violence in Tibet. Both U.S Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and the European Union called for China to practice “restraint” but veered from making bolder statements. The E.U. also brushed aside the notion of boycotting the Beijiing Olympics. And President George Bush noted he still plans to attend the Olympics.

The Czech Republic and Russia had stronger reactions. The Czech Republic called for the immediate release of all detained people, while Russia encouraged its ally, China, to do whatever it had to in order to “curtail unlawful actions.”

But fear not…none of this conflict will cause the Olympic torch to have to detour.

Phew! That was close. I almost thought human rights might take precedence over a huge international sporting event.

(Photo by art_es_anna of Barcelona, Spain via Flickr, using a Creative Commons License. To see coverage of the Tibetan protests by Al Jazeera English, please check below.)

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John Charles Palazzo said...

If Tibet strikes oil tomorrow, have no doubt that the Bush administration would be organising an invasion.

As it stands, we won't even boycott the Olympics as would be the correct thing to do. Instead, Bush will go visit personally and he might even gaze into the eyes of Chinese leadership and tell them he trusts them....

How Kuff said...

China has a tremendous amount of power, prestige and natural resources at stake. Their goal is to destroy and assimilate Tibetan and Tibetan culture until it is merely a quaint artifact from the past.

During our first day in Lhasa, we were approached by Tibetan students in the marketplace who told us directly and without hesitation (with great risk to their well-being), about the crimes of the Chinese. Then when biking through the country over the next several weeks, we heard the same thing over and over. The people love the Dalai Lama and the Chinese have made it a crime to even own a picture of him.

Prior to the Chinese invasion of Tibet 60 years ago, Tibet had a history of at least 1300 years of independence from China. In 821 China and Tibet ended almost 200 years of fighting with a treaty engraved on three stone pillars, one of which still stands in front of the Jokhang temple in Lhasa. Since the invasion, China has engaged in detention, torture and killing in an attempt to suppress the will and history of the Tibetans.

Sitting on the roof of the world, for over 1000 years the Tibetans had studied Mind in their monasteries and came to an understanding of our place in the world that has (and perhaps) never will be surpassed. The Tibetan culture that brought about these studies and knowledge has been viewed by the Chinese as a direct opposition to the ideology of the Cultural Revolution.

And Tibet is the headwaters of most all the major rivers of Asia, which supplies water to 1/3 of the Earth’s population (1/2 of Asia). The Chinese are trying to completely destroy the Tibetan culture so that they have free access to the minerals and water resources of the country. This is clearly genocide, which rears its ugly head in these actions by the Chinese to instigate riots to justify their continual (planned) violence against the Tibetan people and Tibetan culture.

Whenever you suppress people hard enough and they eventually speak out and address their anger toward those who represent the oppressors. The world needs to see the crimes of the Chinese, confront them and speak out for the Tibetans. If we do not the entire world will lose a great tradition of wisdom and knowledge.

Same old story. Money and power. China wants Tibet for its resources. The people of Tibet DO NOT WANT CHINA. China wants world power. Water is the key to the future. Tibet is the key to the waters of Asia. It will take the World to force China to give this up. Control of water is control of humanity. We are all water and we all share water. China seeks domination. The people of Tibet are simply pawns in China’s quest for power.

Tibet should be declared a World Heritage Site; the Buddhist tradition should be allowed to flourish, the study of Mind encouraged and fostered, and the waters and resources protected for all humanity. We are all in this together. We all share WATER. And we are all humans and will live and die as a race. Throughout our history we have forever warred for territory, power and resources. Let’s create a new World Heritage Site on the roof of the world dedicated to all World Citizens!

Robin, Daughter of the Desert and American Bad Ass said...

Ah, oil...so true. We'd be there guns blazin' in a heartbeat.

Minnescyclist said...

Well, Tibet has a lot of uranium as well as the post referring to rivers going through there, and I think the Chinese and their civilization has given the world much though their government is despicable, we Americans are going to be often confronted with the adage to "get your own house in order" and I find that difficult to argue against.

How Kuff said...

We are all World Citizens foremost. National borders are artificial boundaries that are used to separate us. Our problems and their solutions are global. Tibet is the high point of the world (literally and figuratively) and getting our house in order is protecting our most precious resources. We are all water. Water connects us. Water is forever. Crimes against water are crimes against humanity.


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